Wise Child

Monica Furlong, Author Random House Books for Young Readers $15.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-394-89105-7
In this exciting, well-written fantasy, the setting (Britain in the Dark Ages) is as much a character as Wise Child and her guardian Juniper. Orphaned by the death of her grandmother and her sailor-father's disappearance, Wise Child chooses to become the ward of Juniper, the village wisewoman who is healer, midwife and witch. Under Juniper's kind but stern tutelage, Wise Child thrives, learning herb lore, reading and basic survival in those difficult times. Wise Child manages to live between the Churchrepresented by the grim village priestand the witchcraft that Juniper would have her learn. This delicate balance is destroyed by the coming of Maeve, Wise Child's mother, who had abandoned her. Her evil awakens the real power of Wise Child as well as the superstitions of the village, rendering the trial of Juniper for witchcraft inevitable. Self-realization enables Wise Child to save both herself and Juniper in an exciting climax. Though the ending may strike some as too easy, this is an intriguing portrayal of an ancient way of life, and Wise Child is an engaging heroine. Ages 12-up. (October)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 228 pages - 978-0-613-29386-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 228 pages - 978-0-394-82598-4
Prebound-Other - 228 pages - 978-0-606-04425-7
Hardcover - 228 pages - 978-0-394-99105-4
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